This is a secondary part of the problem with hiring any SEO expert. What they "know works" could very well change in a month or two and then the work they've done, advice they've provided, and so forth is all for naught. The changes made based on their advice could ultimately do more harm than good, no?
I disagree. Hire the right SEO and you'd never have any such problem.
Proper SEO doesn't and hasn't changed. For the issues with IP.board to be fixed, you need a very good and firm understanding of on site SEO, that's not going to change any time soon.
Build IPB on a solid base of what's been proven to work, what Google themselves recommend and what makes good logical sense.
I tend to find it much more useful when users post "I think you should change x to function as y because of z. I would expect to see abc benefit." rather than "my site doesn't rank well, fix it". For all of the SEO topics you see, there aren't a whole lot of actionable suggestions put forth, and you will note that the sensible ones that ARE brought up, we do act on.
I am happy to list actionable fixes.
The talk of confusing Google amuses me a little. Are you indicating that we've outsmarted Google, one of the oldest and 'best' search engines on the internet? We've created a URL structure that Google can't figure out? Somehow, I can't believe that Google can't figure out how to crawl a forum (any forum, not ours specifically) and determine what content is on the page and when to show that content to users that use its search. This is, after all, what Google specializes in...and they're pretty good at it.
Pretty dangerous attitude Brandon and annoyed me a little, seeing as I was one of those who talked about Google being confused.
First of all, we've PROVEN Google's confused and that's why it's listing multiple pages of a thread, as separate threads. If Google's not confused, what is it? Misinformed? It all amounts to the same thing really.
You're in a position of power Brandon, and whether you're implementing changes based of false assumptions, or telling Matt that we're talking nonsense and he shouldn't listen to us, it's going to hinder the development of IPB.
But assuming Google is smart enough to interpret bad infrastructure or duplicate content, isn't a good attitude to have. There are millions of websites, thousands of platforms and Google will make mistakes, when left to interpret what I see as errors in design.